Performance Art

Earth is the Target! / We are the Trigger! / Ashes! Ashes! / We Don’t Fall Down (Fall 2020)

In 2020, I made a short film/performance art piece using my prose poem, “Earth is the Target! / We are the Trigger! / Ashes! Ashes! / We Don’t Fall Down” as source material. Though I originally published this piece through The Light Ekphrastic in 2015 alongside the work of Sejong Cho, its apocalyptic themes felt ripe for re-envisioning for Cyber Distancing, an online festival series hosted by New Orleans drag queens Laveau Contraire and Tarah Cards. “Earth is the Target” focuses on a co-dependent relationship during the apocalypse that mirrors the relationship between the queer other and capitalist industry—both dependent on that system for survival and aware that it is killing us.

Pastel Witch, Ongoing (Premiered May 2015)

What is the difference between a spell read live and the recording of that same spell playing over and over again? What does it mean for the witch to be present for and in control of the execution of these spells, while also refusing to speak them aloud in front of people? Pastel Witch is a durational performance involving the looped playing of recorded mystical texts accompanied by the performance of various chaotic, ritualistic actions. The flotsam and jetsam of these rituals are collected in a bowl, a “cauldron” if you will that grows more grotesque as the hours roll by. The texts are all texts I’ve written and recorded myself reading, some of which are spells, others of which are explorations of the queer body through the lens of witchcraft, poems of longing and queer love, and character studies of queer witches. A performance that debuted first at the EMP Collective but has since been featured by Lightholes, Labbodies, and The Transmodern Festival, the piece explores the connections between spoken incantation vs. recorded incantation, the witch as a culturally empowered other vs. the queer other, the sacred ritual vs. the mundane ritual, etc. As my body of work expands, I find new written material to include in the piece and activate through performance.

Us: The Love Story of Icarus and the Sun, September 2014

 Us: The Love Story of Icarus and the Sun was a durational, interactive re-imagining of the myth of Icarus performed for Laboddies’ 2014 Transmodern Festival event, Over/Under Limbo Lab. Contextualizing Icarus in the underworld after his drowning, Us retold the Icarus myth as a tragic queer love story between Icarus and the sun god Helios through a combination of poetry, interactive dialogue, and obsessive word games. Following each moment of interactive dialogue wherein members of the audience would read increasingly more sadistic or manipulative “lines” from the sun, I would respond and then submerge my head in a trough of water until someone in the audience saved me or I couldn’t stay under the water any longer.

Fantasmas, October 2014

Combining video projection with live poetry reading and movement, Fantasmas explored alienation, travel, and translation for Current Space’s gallery opening, screens, remainders, and holds; with an eye towards separation, nose for the drift. Prior to the performance, I took a poem I had written entirely in Castilian style Spanish and translated various lines into English. Then, I rewrote the poem, translating all the lines that were in English back into Spanish and all the lines that were in Spanish into English. During the performance, I read these poems one after the other to create a feeling of cognitive linguistic dissonance and delayed translation, while movement artist Isa Leal interpreted the sounds of the words with movement. Meanwhile, a distorted clip of the sleepwalking scene from Luis Buñuel’s film, Viridiana, was projected over us both. An edited version of the poem, “Fantasmas,” can be read here.

Selected Photos from Other Performance Art Pieces